Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman from the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania recently released a research article titled “Self-Discipline Outdoes IQ in Predicting Academic Performance of Adolescents”.
The article (here) found that “self-discipline predicted academic performance more robustly than did IQ”.
Highly self-disciplined adolescents outperformed their more impulsive peers on every academic-performance variable, including report-card grades, standardized achievement-test scores, admission to a competitive high school, and attendance. Self-discipline measured in the fall predicted more variance in each of these outcomes than did IQ, and unlike IQ, self-discipline predicted gains in academic performance over the school year.
As you can see from the chart, while having a higher IQ may give you a slight edge to begin with, good old hard work wins out in the end.
Now this study only investigated the correlation of self-discipline and academic achievement. In terms of life, and for the ultimate success formulae, you’ll want to mesh self-discipline and hard work with aptitude and opportunity.
That’s where the COP model comes in (read about the COP model on my post here). The COP model helps you determine your sweet spot, that area of focus where you’re most inclined to succeed.
Intertwine these two principles, and you’ll be setting yourself up for sure success.
Either way, it’s encouraging, to me, how such simple measures like attitude, perseverance, self-discipline and good ‘ol fashioned hard work tend to be such efficient equalizers.